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Monday, September 01, 2014

OT: Monthly NBA Thread - September 2014

I estimate only 10-12 Primates care about the NBA, but with our own thread, we won’t detract from what this site is really about: college football, hockey, soccer, and wrestling.

The District Attorney Posted: September 01, 2014 at 05:03 PM | 402 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: basketball, nba, off-topic

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   1. Randomly Fluctuating Defensive Metric Posted: September 01, 2014 at 06:08 PM (#4783296)
All I want is for the Knicks to be watchable. I think they can actually exceed expectations. JR looked much better in the last month. I'm not excusing his history of inconsistency, but its definitely possible he needed time to get his explosiveness back after the knee surgery. I'm hoping he will improve. I also feel the perceived value of Chandler had begun to completely eclipse the actual value of Chandler. Calderon is a massive upgrade at point guard. I believe they can be a bit of a surprise. Last season was just such a nightmare.
   2. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: September 01, 2014 at 06:32 PM (#4783307)
If USA lose in the world cup it'll probably be because whoever James Harden's guarding goes off for 40 right?

It'll be because Spain has pushed the American A-Team to the limit twice in a row, and now gets the American C-Team on home soil.
   3. Cargo Cultist Posted: September 01, 2014 at 10:05 PM (#4783412)
What is that silly game they're playing in the picture? There's no bat or diamond.
   4. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: September 01, 2014 at 10:23 PM (#4783418)
That's Steve Ballmer pulling off a little move he calls The Windows 7.
   5. DanO Posted: September 01, 2014 at 11:07 PM (#4783430)
Great. Now that picture is going to haunt my nightmares for at least a month.
   6. RollingWave Posted: September 02, 2014 at 02:36 AM (#4783474)
I'm pretty sure Ballmer can't run the Clippers worst than Windows 7.

   7. Famous Original Joe C Posted: September 02, 2014 at 08:51 AM (#4783519)
[1] Morph - what do you see as the end result, a 7-8 seed?
   8. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: September 02, 2014 at 10:23 AM (#4783577)
That's Steve Ballmer pulling off a little move he calls The Windows 7.


Dude's gonna scuff up the court wearing those shoes....
   9. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: September 02, 2014 at 02:26 PM (#4783835)
   10. Randomly Fluctuating Defensive Metric Posted: September 02, 2014 at 02:40 PM (#4783848)
7. I'd definitely take that. Especially because the conference looks to be deeper this season.
   11. tshipman Posted: September 02, 2014 at 02:54 PM (#4783866)
I'm pretty sure Ballmer can't run the Clippers worst than Windows 7.


What's with the Windows 7 jokes?

Do you guys mean win 8 or something? 7 was widely regarded as a great release.
   12. andrewberg Posted: September 02, 2014 at 03:46 PM (#4783937)
Long arms or no, Anthony Davis has looked like the very best player on the floor in every game he has played so far in FIBA. I am more and more convinced that he will be the best player alive at some point.
   13. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: September 02, 2014 at 04:22 PM (#4783977)
[9] New Zealand had a 4-on-1 and the only guy back was ... James Harden?!?
   14. rr Posted: September 03, 2014 at 02:21 AM (#4784341)
I am more and more convinced that he will be the best player alive at some point.


Probably. I think you can make an argument that he is the 3rd-best player in the NBA right now, and I think 3rd is the lowest he would go in the old "If all the players were put into a pool and re-drafted" hypothetical.
   15. steagles Posted: September 03, 2014 at 01:10 PM (#4784600)
   16. smileyy Posted: September 03, 2014 at 02:30 PM (#4784685)
The future is one of those three always being injured?
   17. madvillain Posted: September 03, 2014 at 02:49 PM (#4784710)
Long arms or no, Anthony Davis has looked like the very best player on the floor in every game he has played so far in FIBA. I am more and more convinced that he will be the best player alive at some point.


He's a great player and I have no doubt he'll be a top 10 NBA player this season and possibly better after that but him against some of these internationa big men is like adults playing against kids. The guards on some of these teams could pass for 11th men in the NBA but I don't think any of the bigs outside of maybe Spain and Turkey would even be decent 3rd bigs off the bench.
   18. The District Attorney Posted: September 03, 2014 at 02:52 PM (#4784714)
I do doubt MCW is part of the Sixers' future.
   19. Manny Coon Posted: September 03, 2014 at 03:30 PM (#4784750)
He's a great player and I have no doubt he'll be a top 10 NBA player this season and possibly better after that but him against some of these internationa big men is like adults playing against kids. The guards on some of these teams could pass for 11th men in the NBA but I don't think any of the bigs outside of maybe Spain and Turkey would even be decent 3rd bigs off the bench.


Must have missed the Brazil/Serbia match that featured Splitter, Nene, Varejao, Raduljica and Krstic. Valanciunas, Dieng and Ayon are in the tournament as well.
   20. madvillain Posted: September 03, 2014 at 03:59 PM (#4784796)
Must have missed the Brazil/Serbia match that featured Splitter, Nene, Varejao, Raduljica and Krstic. Valanciunas, Dieng and Ayon are in the tournament as well.


Eh I've watched most of every game and Ok, add Brazil and Serbia. But the Domincan? Yea, Cousins and Davis are about 4 inches taller and 30 lbs heavier than anyone on DR.
   21. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: September 03, 2014 at 04:05 PM (#4784804)
Aren't they playing Balkman at center?
   22. madvillain Posted: September 03, 2014 at 04:12 PM (#4784813)
Aren't they playing Balkman at center?


That is PR. The US is not going to beat spain playing like this. imo I think Curry and Harden and Thompson on the floor at one time is a bit superflous. Rather go big with Gay at the 3.
   23. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: September 03, 2014 at 04:43 PM (#4784856)
my bad
   24. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: September 03, 2014 at 04:58 PM (#4784871)
this is the future.

The wrong guy has the hi-top fade. They should grow their hair so it makes them all the same height.
   25. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: September 03, 2014 at 05:32 PM (#4784899)
So Faried has been one of the US's best players so far, if not the best. As much as that's a credit to him, that kinda says a lot about the team. So how's Pau looking to you, Matt?

---

He's a great player and I have no doubt he'll be a top 10 NBA player this season

That's aiming low for him, isn't it? He was probably top 10 last year, and should only get better. Just needs to stay healthy (which is a fair enough reason to say he might not have been top 10 last year).
   26. andrewberg Posted: September 03, 2014 at 06:38 PM (#4784945)

That's aiming low for him, isn't it? He was probably top 10 last year, and should only get better. Just needs to stay healthy (which is a fair enough reason to say he might not have been top 10 last year).


He played 67 games, so you're right that it is a concern. In that time, he was 7th in WS/48 and 4th (!) in PER. That is as a 20 year-old. Even with the missed games, he was 14th in WS. Oddly, his defensive advanced stats lagged behind his offense- all appropriate caveats apply (119/104 ORTG/DRTG).

Somehow he was 280th in RAPM, but much better in SPM. The next steps would seem to be to play in 75+ games and to turn his crazy defensive tools into defensive production. The latter seems to come with age an maturity with some regularity. The former remains a question. Still, I want to reiterate that we're talking about all of these things for a guy who just finished his age 20 season.
   27. Win Big Stein's Money Posted: September 03, 2014 at 07:10 PM (#4784962)
This is ridiculous. As pointed out he's alrdy 7th in rate basis and hes only 20 years old. There's a very real possibility he finishes in the top 4 behind Lebron, Durant, and Curry next year. And an even better possibility that he becomes the reigning best player in the game in a few short seasons. He's 20 years old, he doesn't have to prove shit all to anybody. All he has to do is keep developing as he has been and it's everyone else that better pray they can keep up with him.
   28. Fourth True Outcome Posted: September 03, 2014 at 07:35 PM (#4784977)
I like Steph Curry a lot, and he can shoot the lights out, but is he definitely the third best player in the league right now?
   29. Win Big Stein's Money Posted: September 03, 2014 at 07:44 PM (#4784981)
He finished 4th in WS and 5th in WS/48 last year. Of the 4 people ahead of him two (Lebron, CP3) have a good possibility of age decline. And the other just signed up for Superfriends 2.0 and might see his numbers drop.
   30. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: September 04, 2014 at 10:00 AM (#4785225)
The Phillipines beat Senegal in OT.
   31. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: September 04, 2014 at 10:26 AM (#4785244)
He finished 4th in WS and 5th in WS/48 last year. Of the 4 people ahead of him two (Lebron, CP3) have a good possibility of age decline.

Considering defense, I would be shocked if Curry is better than either of those guys next year. Barring another injury, AD is at least #3 in the NBA next year after LBJ/KD.
   32. Manny Coon Posted: September 04, 2014 at 10:53 AM (#4785274)
Paul's WS48 was higher than Lebron's last year, the only reason his raw totals were a little down was because he missed a bunch of games, so I don't see how it's any kind of given or even likely Davis is ahead of him. He's also only 29, so I don't see anyone would expect significant age related decline from him. Then on top of that there is the whole issue of why Davis on/off numbers are weak, which is what is holding down his RPM and why his Roland Rating was significantly behind guys like Paul, Durant, Curry, Love and Lebron.
   33. andrewberg Posted: September 04, 2014 at 12:05 PM (#4785352)
He finished 4th in WS and 5th in WS/48 last year. Of the 4 people ahead of him two (Lebron, CP3) have a good possibility of age decline.

Considering defense, I would be shocked if Curry is better than either of those guys next year. Barring another injury, AD is at least #3 in the NBA next year after LBJ/KD.


Curry has also had some injury issues in the past. It would be easy to imagine him playing fewer games this year than he did last year.

It will be interesting to see what happens to Love's stats this year. His usage could go WAY down. The presumption is an increase in efficiency, which is also probably true, but he was already a pretty efficient player. Westbrook often gets left out of these discussions, but he's still very young and outrageously good.

Curry, Davis, Westbrook, Blake, and Love are probably the top tier of guys entering their primes. It is too early to say much about this year's rookie class. Irving, Wall, Leonard, Harden, Lillard, Cousins, Drummond, Bledsoe, Lawson, Faried, Ibaka, and Beal are probably on the next tier. You have to reserve space somewhere for Rose and George to see where they wind up when fully healthy. It will also be interesting to see how the newer guys fit in as they start to develop- Wiggins, Noel, Embiid, Parker, Antetokounmpo. The fact that Davis probably belongs in that group age-wise but has already brought his performance up to the top group is about all that needs to be said about him.
   34. andrewberg Posted: September 04, 2014 at 12:17 PM (#4785371)
Anyone know why Fesenko isn't playing for Ukraine? (which is not weak, judging by their first half performance).
   35. tshipman Posted: September 04, 2014 at 12:28 PM (#4785384)
He played 67 games, so you're right that it is a concern. In that time, he was 7th in WS/48 and 4th (!) in PER. That is as a 20 year-old. Even with the missed games, he was 14th in WS. Oddly, his defensive advanced stats lagged behind his offense- all appropriate caveats apply (119/104 ORTG/DRTG).

Somehow he was 280th in RAPM, but much better in SPM. The next steps would seem to be to play in 75+ games and to turn his crazy defensive tools into defensive production. The latter seems to come with age an maturity with some regularity. The former remains a question. Still, I want to reiterate that we're talking about all of these things for a guy who just finished his age 20 season.


I think the biggest reason for his poor defensive performance is scheme and position. I saw him close-up in a game last season. What I saw was that he struggled on the perimeter defensively and pretty much allowed guys to drive on him regularly. He did poorly when mixed up in a few PnR actions away from the basket.

I think his eventual best NBA position is Center, right? So the problem is that he has great instincts for an NBA center, but isn't really physically capable of playing the position. He gets a little exposed far from the basket, but all bigs do. The defensive scheme the Pelicans played didn't really help him much in the PnR, and the further away he is from the basket, the worse he looks.
   36. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: September 04, 2014 at 12:45 PM (#4785391)
I think the biggest reason for his poor defensive performance is scheme and position. I saw him close-up in a game last season. What I saw was that he struggled on the perimeter defensively and pretty much allowed guys to drive on him regularly.


This is a good observation, and one I think Lowe has made a few times as well. I wonder how much of that is a kind of residual effect from his one dominating year at Kentucky. Aside from the fact that he had the athleticism and speed to play with perimeter players in college, he was such a frightening and effective college shotblocker that it wasn't a disaster when someone did manage to drive past him: Davis could just recover and use his freakishly long arms to swat the ball from behind.

I'm always fascinated by the physical and mental adjustments top-level athletes make when they struggle for the first time. It's such an alien experience for them.
   37. andrewberg Posted: September 04, 2014 at 01:00 PM (#4785403)
I think his eventual best NBA position is Center, right? So the problem is that he has great instincts for an NBA center, but isn't really physically capable of playing the position. He gets a little exposed far from the basket, but all bigs do. The defensive scheme the Pelicans played didn't really help him much in the PnR, and the further away he is from the basket, the worse he looks.


I have always felt that way, but they did just trade for Asik. Maybe they think Davis needs one more year to gain the strength and technique to play the 5.
   38. Manny Coon Posted: September 04, 2014 at 01:02 PM (#4785405)
I think his eventual best NBA position is Center, right? So the problem is that he has great instincts for an NBA center, but isn't really physically capable of playing the position.


His best position is likely already center; if you look at the 5 five man line up data for the Pelicans last year the Davis/Anderson/Aminu front lines were drastically better than the random stiff/Davis line ups. I think they should have tried Davis/Aminu at C/PF some, rather than giving so many minutes to the Smith, Stiemsma, Ajinca, Withey many headed monster of lumbering stiffness.

The league isn't nearly as physical as it was 15 years ago, centers still need length and while power is nice inside, it's not really essential anymore and mobility has become more important.
   39. steagles Posted: September 04, 2014 at 01:07 PM (#4785409)
it's good to see sixers coach brett brown getting a head start on this season's tanking. he held a bunch of players out of the 2nd half for australia, hoping to avoid the 2nd seed and an early matchup against the US.
   40. madvillain Posted: September 04, 2014 at 01:40 PM (#4785444)
Pretty neat watching the rust fade away with Rose. There is no way he would have been anything other than mediocre to start the season without these FIBA games. Today he missed a bunch of bunnies again but his dribble was much tighter and in general it felt like he was more playing and not thinking. Of course, seeing him play 5 nights out of 6 is pretty great as well, even if it's in a more relaxed setting than the NBA. He looked spry for the most part.

Hope Kyrie is OK looked like a fairly hard knock on his hip there at the end.
   41. tshipman Posted: September 04, 2014 at 01:52 PM (#4785470)
I have always felt that way, but they did just trade for Asik. Maybe they think Davis needs one more year to gain the strength and technique to play the 5.


His best position is likely already center; if you look at the 5 five man line up data for the Pelicans last year the Davis/Anderson/Aminu front lines were drastically better than the random stiff/Davis line ups. I think they should have tried Davis/Aminu at C/PF some, rather than giving so many minutes to the Smith, Stiemsma, Ajinca, Withey many headed monster of lumbering stiffness.


I think a lot of the poor performance with the Davis/Random stiff lineup was that those guys were bad players. In theory, Davis + Asik would be better because Asik is a good player.

On the other hand, Anderson can't really play with both Davis and Asik, which is probably a bad thing, because Anderson was one of their best 4-5 players. Personally, I would have gone with Davis at C, and Anderson at the other big spot. That lineup is an amazing passing/shooting lineup.
   42. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: September 04, 2014 at 01:55 PM (#4785475)
it's good to see sixers coach brett brown getting a head start on this season's tanking. he held a bunch of players out of the 2nd half for australia, hoping to avoid the 2nd seed and an early matchup against the US.

He's also making sure Dante Exum has plenty of rest so he can help the Jazz win more games than the Sixers.
   43. andrewberg Posted: September 04, 2014 at 01:59 PM (#4785477)

On the other hand, Anderson can't really play with both Davis and Asik, which is probably a bad thing, because Anderson was one of their best 4-5 players. Personally, I would have gone with Davis at C, and Anderson at the other big spot. That lineup is an amazing passing/shooting lineup.


As long as the coach doesn't get stupidly rigid about lineups, there will be plenty of minutes to do both types of lineups. You can pair any two of those three together.
   44. Fourth True Outcome Posted: September 04, 2014 at 02:09 PM (#4785494)
It might not even be a bad idea to have Davis split time between the 4 with Asik on the floor and the 5 with Anderson, if there are still concerns about him playing the full-time 5.
   45. tshipman Posted: September 04, 2014 at 02:21 PM (#4785509)
As long as the coach doesn't get stupidly rigid about lineups, there will be plenty of minutes to do both types of lineups. You can pair any two of those three together.


In a perfect world, you want Davis to play about 38-40 min per game, and Asik and Anderson to play about 30-33. If you play Davis 38 mpg, that only leaves about 26 mpg for the other two guys, so it's slightly sub-optimal.

It might not even be a bad idea to have Davis split time between the 4 with Asik on the floor and the 5 with Anderson, if there are still concerns about him playing the full-time 5.


This is a good point and probably why they made the move.
   46. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: September 04, 2014 at 02:43 PM (#4785542)
Anderson's coming off an injury -- even though it shouldn't last (neck, serious but not like blowing out a knee or whatever) his conditioning / game shape will probably not be back immediately. My guess is the Pelicans can now afford to be pretty careful with his recovery and will do so.
   47. steagles Posted: September 04, 2014 at 05:37 PM (#4785672)
   48. The District Attorney Posted: September 04, 2014 at 07:05 PM (#4785715)
it's good to see sixers coach brett brown getting a head start on this season's tanking. he held a bunch of players out of the 2nd half for australia, hoping to avoid the 2nd seed and an early matchup against the US.
That would be amusing, but from what I'm seeing, he's no longer the Australian coach.
   49. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: September 06, 2014 at 11:36 AM (#4786684)
Maybe Derrick Rose shouldn't play so much, Coach K.
   50. The District Attorney Posted: September 07, 2014 at 11:32 AM (#4787041)
NBA statement: Hawks owner Bruce Levenson resigns "prior to the completion of an investigation" about a racist e-mail.

Apparently Levenson "notified the league office this July of his August 2012 email." I'm guessing Silver told the owners "tell me every bit of dirt Sterling can dig up on you, NOW." So... point, Sterling? Happy, Donald?
   51. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: September 07, 2014 at 12:17 PM (#4787055)
here's the email. It's a lot different than what I was expecting. I don't find it that offensive, but it's definitely tactless and shows how African Americans are still so economically and socially disadvantaged.
   52. JuanGone..except1game Posted: September 07, 2014 at 12:38 PM (#4787065)
TheDA: I think your exactly right. The NBA was preparing themselves for a suit and the discovery that came with it. Unfortunately, I'm guessing Donald is enjoying this move.

here's the email. It's a lot different than what I was expecting. I don't find it that offensive, but it's definitely tactless and shows how African Americans are still so economically and socially disadvantaged.

I know that the focus is going to be on what he says about black people, but to me, more telling are his statements on whites. Couple this with the Braves moving to Cobb County, and his statements read more about whites and irrational fears than anything so I don't think its really all that offensive to African Americans. Statements about how white people perceive a 40% black audience as 70% or that they say that there is crime at the arena despite no incidents in a decade, really have nothing to do with what African Americans have or haven't done. This isn't the Political thread, but its always strange that all issues on race wind up being fought on the ground of AA's, because that email wasn't really aimed at them.
   53. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: September 07, 2014 at 12:41 PM (#4787066)
Yeah, I think that email is an honest and pretty accurate (and sad) view of what was going on (assuming that the numbers are correct). It certainly comes off as tactless when leaked obviously but as a strategy/planning email among the top brass I bet that every franchise, heck every corporation, has far worse. I really don't think it's grounds for blackmail / Levenson being forced out. Sadly, Levenson voluntarily stepping away kind of confirms that narrative that he's not a racist (a racist would be defensive and/or stubborn about it, but Levenson apparently realizes that this is a sensitive topic).

Not excited about this development. It's night and day compared to what Sterling has said and done.
   54. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: September 07, 2014 at 12:47 PM (#4787068)
Agreed 52 and 53. I do find it sad that even someone like Levenson wants to replace black fans with white fans, but it's not his fault that there's such a sharp economic gap between the two, and everything I read in that email sounded like he was frustrated by the racism of Atlanta!s white fans.
   55. rr Posted: September 07, 2014 at 02:31 PM (#4787103)

J.A. Adande
In one paragraph Levenson denounces racists. In the rest of the email he caters to them.
about an hour ago

jadande J.A. Adande
At least Bruce Levenson stopped short of saying black people can't swim
   56. nick swisher hygiene Posted: September 07, 2014 at 03:21 PM (#4787121)
yeah, this is--a little odd.

here's an alternative reading: what if Levenson's out because his email opens the NBA up for potentially devastating "reverse racism" criticism--
& the NBA feels it can't be seen to tolerate his accusing these innocent white suburbanites of racism?

this fits the general climate of pushback from the right: white people as the new oppressed minority, accusations of racism as bad as racism itself, etc, etc--we all know the game.

   57. smileyy Posted: September 07, 2014 at 04:15 PM (#4787135)
There's plenty of ways to justify needing a more affluent fan base that don't offensively use race like that email did. You really can't say "We need fewer black fans" and "Our white fans hate black people." The league can't tolerate that.

   58. tshipman Posted: September 07, 2014 at 04:53 PM (#4787148)
There's plenty of ways to justify needing a more affluent fan base that don't offensively use race like that email did. You really can't say "We need fewer black fans" and "Our white fans hate black people." The league can't tolerate that.


Ultimately though, they all say the same thing. Would it really have been better if the email referred to "urban" fans or "downtown" fans? At least Levinson says it out in the open. There's a lot worse conversations that go on every day.

The specifics of his email:

Our kiss cam is better done than any in the league.


This is true actually. They have the best production values and the most fun out of this feature of any arena.

then one day a light bulb went off. when digging into why our season ticket base is so small, i was told it is because we can't get 35-55 white males and corporations to buy season tixs and they are the primary demo for season tickets around the league. when i pushed further, folks generally shrugged their shoulders. then i start looking around our arena during games and notice the following:


This is a cop-out. The Hawks (and the NBA in general) tend to have a poor season ticket sales operation. Calls tend to not be fully followed up on, and in-game leads receive only minimal follow-up, even for guests who express interest in club seats. They have plenty of issues with season ticket sales that are not racial. It is ... marginally relevant that most of their sales reps are black.

the non-premium area food is better than most arenas, though that is not saying much.


This is not accurate. Their non-premium food is mostly garbage, and it's slightly overpriced compared to the arena average.

Levy is our food vendor so we don't have much control but they have been good partners. i have wished we had some inconic offereing like boog's barbeque at the baseball stadium in balt.


This is a cop-out. Levy operates F&B in Chicago, and Chicago has some of the best premium food offerings in the NBA. Levy is a good partner. He doesn't have to deal with Centerplate or Aramark or something.

from day one i have been impressed with the friendliness and professionalism of the arena staff — food vendors, ushers, ticket takers, etc. in our early years when i would bring folks from dc they were blown away by the contrast between abe pollin's arena and philips.


This is true. They are actually very good at this. Also the best lost and found operation.

We do all the usual giveways and the fans are usually their loudest when our spirit crew takes the floor to give away t-shirts. It pisses me off that they will yell louder for a t-shirt then for our players.


This is true at literally every arena. Rather than recognize this and use giveaways to build excitement, they bring out the t-shirt cannon 4-5 times a game, diluting its impact.

Our player intro is flat. We manufacture a lot of noise but because of the late arriving crowd and the fact that a lot of blacks dont seem to go as crazy cheering (another one of my theories) as whites, it is not great.


They actually fixed this. They do a really cool drumline opening. I thought it was the best part of their arena experience. Probably doesn't address his concerns about the open being too black.

This is obviously a sensitive topic, but sadly i think it is far and way the number one reason our season ticket base is so low.


I don't think this is accurate. The season ticket sales base is low because it's very difficult to get to Phillips, and it's a pain in the ass once you get there. There's no transit in from the suburbs, the parking is spread out and expensive, and egress from the arena lots takes twice as long at comparable arenas. Even worse, given how empty Phillips is. I think that's the number one problem they face.

Can give credentials for my opinion in private emails, but not public forums.
   59. smileyy Posted: September 07, 2014 at 05:04 PM (#4787162)
Ultimately though, they all say the same thing. Would it really have been better if the email referred to "urban" fans or "downtown" fans? At least Levinson says it out in the open. There's a lot worse conversations that go on every day.


They said the same thing about Marge Schott. "Oh, she's a racist old lady, but at least she's open about it! Not to mention her love of Hitler paraphernalia!" That still doesn't make it ok. Maybe his email was ok at first, but then it went too far.

But seriously, you *cannot* say "We want fewer black fans" and be an owner in the NBA. You can say "We want more white fans" but you can't say "We want more white fans and we don't have them because they hate black people." There are sad economic truths about race an income in Atlanta, but its racism, not race, that's at the heart of them.

In his demographic statistics, I didn't see mention of the demographics of the players playing on the floor. The league had an owner who said things like my interpreted statements, and as a result, players nearly walked off the floor of a playoff game.
   60. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: September 07, 2014 at 10:52 PM (#4787331)
I'm black and found no issue with Levenson's comments. Asked a bunch of my other black friends, they all agreed.
   61. rr Posted: September 08, 2014 at 02:57 AM (#4787398)

ESPNSteinLine Marc Stein
Hearing new Lakers coach Byron Scott is closing on the addition of Igor Kokoskov, one of Europe's finest coaching exports, to his LA staff


Any time you can add an assistant named "Igor", you pretty much have to go for it.
   62. rr Posted: September 08, 2014 at 03:02 AM (#4787400)
"I trivialized our fans by making clichéd assumptions about their interests (i.e. hip hop vs. country, white vs. black cheerleaders, etc.) and by stereotyping their perceptions of one another (i.e. that white fans might be afraid of our black fans)," Levenson said in a statement.

"By focusing on race, I also sent the unintentional and hurtful message that our white fans are more valuable than our black fans. If you're angry about what I wrote, you should be. I'm angry at myself, too. It was inflammatory nonsense. We all may have subtle biases and preconceptions when it comes to race, but my role as a leader is to challenge them, not to validate or accommodate those who might hold them."

Silver released his own statement on Sunday in which he said: "The views he expressed are entirely unacceptable and are in stark contrast to the core principles of the National Basketball Association. He shared with me how truly remorseful he is for using those hurtful words and how apologetic he is to the entire NBA family."

Hawks CEO Steve Koonin, who will oversee the day-to-day operations of the team, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Sunday that Ferry will also be disciplined for his role in the situation. The nature of the discipline was not disclosed by the team. According to multiple sources, Ferry will remain as the team's general manager.

In the wake of the announcement, the Hawks reached out to their players to explain the developments. In general, sources said, the players were upset by Levenson's comments. He was well liked by players and in the league as a whole.


link
   63. rr Posted: September 08, 2014 at 03:26 AM (#4787401)
Wojnarowski:

In the aftermath of the Donald Sterling scandal, the dirty little secret within the NBA had played itself out in a most pronounced and predictable way: For all the public declarations of support on commissioner Adam Silver's banishment of the then Los Angeles Clippers loathsome owner, there were untold peers privately peppering Silver with misgivings on this perilous new NBA world.

"Adam had far less support on Sterling than anyone knows," a league source who speaks frequently with Silver told Yahoo Sports.

All around the league, owners started to take inventory on loose memos, audio and video remnants of speaking engagements and staff meetings. From race to gay rights to fears of camera phones getting turned on them half-cocked in bars well past midnight, there were assuredly more than a few owners dispatching high-level cleaning crews to try and retrieve and expunge past indiscretions.


link
   64. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: September 08, 2014 at 11:36 AM (#4787529)
Had Ballmer waited and bought the Hawks instead, could he have paid less and could he have moved them to Seattle?

---

Brian Mahoney @briancmahoney · 3h
Classic U.S. moment: European journalist to DeMarcus Cousins: "Do you know where Slovenia is?" Cousins: "No, do you know where Alabama is?"
   65. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: September 08, 2014 at 11:49 AM (#4787556)
64 - but then he wouldn't have the la market, setting aside issues w/ the phillips lease
   66. andrewberg Posted: September 08, 2014 at 11:58 AM (#4787570)
In a sense, I appreciate that the league is deciding to err on the side of over sensitivity. The NBA has a complicated racial past and present and should consider that all the time. On the other hand, it's pretty clear that he would not have had to sell his team over that email if it came to light a year ago.
   67. EddieA Posted: September 08, 2014 at 12:03 PM (#4787577)
An Atlanta law firm's review of more than 24,000 documents led to an email that has prompted Bruce Levenson to sell his share of the Hawks.


Actually a tragedy. No impure thoughts (as defined today) allowed. Imagine every word you say being subject to legal scrutiny.
   68. smileyy Posted: September 08, 2014 at 01:25 PM (#4787649)
Der-K:

In a sense, I appreciate that the league is deciding to err on the side of over sensitivity.


It may be "overly sensitive" in terms of being above median cultural sensitivity, but median cultural sensitivity is pretty barbaric right now. I've heard the term "lynching culture" used, and I don't think that's off the mark. But the arc is (most likely) towards progress in this area, and the NBA is good to be on the right side of that line here.
   69. andrewberg Posted: September 08, 2014 at 01:53 PM (#4787675)
Smileyy- I think that is a pretty good way to put it. If pro sports can be above the society median for cultural sensitivity, that is a good use of their influence.
   70. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: September 08, 2014 at 02:03 PM (#4787684)
I'm having a hard time telling here - is the implication the league is sorta forcing him out here? Or does he want to get out on his own?
   71. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: September 08, 2014 at 02:27 PM (#4787709)
68/smileyy - That was andrewberg, not me. Though I guess you guys are on the same page anyway, which is close to where I am. Would like to know more about the whole story (which I find fascinating), before having strong opinions here.

70/Moses - I can't tell either.
   72. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: September 08, 2014 at 02:49 PM (#4787733)
   73. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: September 08, 2014 at 02:51 PM (#4787738)
I think maybe the Deng scouting report comment might be even "worse" than the email that's out there.
   74. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: September 08, 2014 at 03:08 PM (#4787754)
[73] Agreed.
   75. andrewberg Posted: September 08, 2014 at 03:21 PM (#4787765)
I think maybe the Deng scouting report comment might be even "worse" than the email that's out there.


So what was the deal there? Ferry was reading someone else's report? Who actually authored it?
   76. andrewberg Posted: September 08, 2014 at 03:31 PM (#4787776)
I also have no idea what it means to play like an African. I am usually at least familiar with the stereotypes in racist comments.
   77. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: September 08, 2014 at 04:01 PM (#4787815)
Lots of pro scouting is done by independent contractors, right?

How would we react if it said 'Sudanese'? People seemed quite comfortable with talking about the European style of play (though that stereotype has enough nails in the coffin by now, I think) and still seem fine with saying things like how Bosnians are fiery or Aussies are rugged (to borrow examples from the most recent Zach Lowe podcast) or what have you. Sure is offputting once you overlay the history of race relations / the interactions with Africa and the rest of the globe onto it, though (if not before).

I also have no idea what it means to play like an African.
I feel like I could stutter out an answer at gunpoint or whatever (I've watched Senegal, I've watched Angola, etc...), but I'm not totally sure and am disinclined to try to suss it out.
   78. The Buddy Biancalana Hit Counter Posted: September 08, 2014 at 05:22 PM (#4787874)
I'm having a hard time telling here - is the implication the league is sorta forcing him out here? Or does he want to get out on his own?


Levenson and ASG tried to sell the team to the severely under-capitalized Alex Meruelo in 2011 but the league rejected the deal. The team probably loses money every year. This is almost certainly not howhe wants to get out, but he wants to get out.
   79. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: September 08, 2014 at 05:47 PM (#4787892)
He didn't say he played like an African. He said: "He is still a young guy overall. He is a good guy overall. But he is not perfect. He's got some African in him. And I don't say that in a bad way." Obviously they're trying to step it back a little by saying the not in a bay way part, but it is presented as a negative based on ethnicity (which is still different than talking about the Euro style of play).
   80. Win Big Stein's Money Posted: September 08, 2014 at 05:47 PM (#4787893)
The team probably loses money every year. This is almost certainly not howhe wants to get out, but he wants to get out.


Atlanta ranked third to last in profits/losses in the league, having lost $13 million last year. Only the Nets at $144 million and Washington have lost moar. So yes, Levenson was very likely already trying to sell the team. This just expedites the process.
   81. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: September 08, 2014 at 05:50 PM (#4787894)
Suns news: Team is looking at Goran's brother, Zoran; Bledsoe and his agent aren't moving off their demand for a max contract.
   82. steagles Posted: September 08, 2014 at 07:11 PM (#4787947)
He didn't say he played like an African. He said: "He is still a young guy overall. He is a good guy overall. But he is not perfect. He's got some African in him. And I don't say that in a bad way." Obviously they're trying to step it back a little by saying the not in a bay way part, but it is presented as a negative based on ethnicity (which is still different than talking about the Euro style of play).

i think it means that he's hungry.


i'm gonna go stand in the corner now and stare at the wall for 20 minutes.
   83. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: September 08, 2014 at 07:41 PM (#4787959)
Thanks Moses. Yuuuuck.
   84. smileyy Posted: September 08, 2014 at 09:49 PM (#4788052)
Man, there's just no need to say that.
   85. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: September 08, 2014 at 11:11 PM (#4788104)
RIP, Marvin Barnes. Damn.
   86. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: September 08, 2014 at 11:24 PM (#4788112)
Ferry:
Gearon wrote the letter after Ferry, on a conference call with management and ownership, described free agent target Luol Deng “he has a little African in him, not in a bad way, but he's a guy who would have a nice store out front, but sell you counterfeit stuff out of the back.”
   87. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: September 08, 2014 at 11:26 PM (#4788115)
Here's the letter. It actually gets worse. Guessing Ferry fired soon.
   88. Win Big Stein's Money Posted: September 08, 2014 at 11:46 PM (#4788125)
Wait, so Ferry actually made the comment? I thought he was just reading verbatim off sum1 else's scouting report?

And what's moar, even with further clarification he was obviously making a racist comment, but I still have no earthly clue what he actually meant. Nice store front selling counterfeit goods? Forget the racism, what does that even mean in basketball terms?

This whole affair is as confusing as the Crying Game.
   89. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: September 08, 2014 at 11:49 PM (#4788128)
And what's moar, even with further clarification he was obviously making a racist comment, but I still have no earthly clue what he actually meant. Nice store front selling counterfeit goods? Forget the racism, what does that even mean in basketball terms?

That's the most fascinating part. Steagles' example makes way more sense.
   90. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: September 08, 2014 at 11:54 PM (#4788129)
(Reads letter)
####. #### #### ####.


####. (Sigh)
   91. GregD Posted: September 09, 2014 at 12:04 AM (#4788133)
Whoa. That is like the definition of a firing offense. Blatantly racist statement. Followed by clarification so no one mistakes the racism.
On a conference call. Wtf?
   92. TFTIO is familiar with the works of Pablo Neruda Posted: September 09, 2014 at 12:14 AM (#4788141)
I have a feeling that if Ballmer hadn't overspent for LAC, Levensen wouldn't be playing the martyr.
   93. theboyqueen Posted: September 09, 2014 at 12:18 AM (#4788144)
Forget Levensen, Ferry's comment is just so gratuitous and bizarre. I don't even know if it's racist. I honestly have no clue what he is talking about. This is the GM of an NBA team?
   94. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: September 09, 2014 at 12:20 AM (#4788148)
A buddy of mine who works for the league just texted me. "No wonder Danny didn't respond to my e-mail." He's Nigerian.
   95. theboyqueen Posted: September 09, 2014 at 12:24 AM (#4788152)
Deng is well-known as one of the classy dudes in sports. He and Ferry are both Duke alums. This is kind of unbelievable to be honest.

From wikipedia:
Daniel John Willard "Danny" Ferry (born October 17, 1966) is the racist General Manager of the Atlanta Hawks and a retired American professional basketball player
   96. Norcan Posted: September 09, 2014 at 12:31 AM (#4788155)
And what's moar, even with further clarification he was obviously making a racist comment, but I still have no earthly clue what he actually meant. Nice store front selling counterfeit goods? Forget the racism, what does that even mean in basketball terms?


Maybe it's not in the basketball sense but more how he is in the locker room, like Deng has a great reputation but he's not all that likable in the locker room. I don't know if that's true but I'm guessing Ferry still has Cleveland connections and maybe his sources there didn't have high praise for Deng behind the scenes. Deng seemed pretty frustrated during his brief time in Cleveland so I doubt there was a lot of good vibes both ways. I bet Chicago might have a different take on Deng.

Ferry has to be toast. Who goes around knocking someone for having "a little African in him" and then double down on it with an example? I don't understand how it's supposed to matter if he was reading it from a scouting report. A non-racist executive should have first terminated the scout (maybe he did, but since he supposedly repeated the nugget, I'm assuming not) and then said that is nonsense and not something to be repeated, especially not in a conference call.
   97. theboyqueen Posted: September 09, 2014 at 12:35 AM (#4788157)
This is the NBA. Where most of the good players are black. He is the GM of Atlanta. Whose ten fans are black. He is toast.
   98. theboyqueen Posted: September 09, 2014 at 12:40 AM (#4788159)
Ferry's GM career has been pretty worthless altogether, he really owes the entirety of his (prior) reputation to Lebron James. And then the best he could do was surround him with the likes of Mike Brown, a washed up Shaq, etc.
   99. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: September 09, 2014 at 12:43 AM (#4788161)
Daniel John Willard "Danny" Ferry (born October 17, 1966) is the racist General Manager of the Atlanta Hawks and a retired American professional basketball player


That's outrageous. "General manager" shouldn't be capitalized in that sentence.
   100. Norcan Posted: September 09, 2014 at 01:27 AM (#4788174)
I'm really floored that Ferry would say something so explicitly racist in a conference call. It was just so unnecessary. All he had to do was say that some people think Deng isn't quite who he's made out to be and that would've been fine. There was no need to bring Deng's race or ethnicity into it. Maybe beside being an idiot and a racist, it also goes back to Levenson's letter. Maybe he thought if the controlling partner could be so open with racial stereotypes, then the rest of the owner group might be too and would understand him better if he framed things racially.
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